Turn order and the Western Front

  • Customizer

    Posted something about this before, but it got buried by a handbag fight.

    So here is a special topic. For it.

    I’m struggling to picture how the Western Front will work, whichever turn order system is used.

    I expect the official game to repeat the usual formula and give each of the great powers it’s own turn. But won’t that end up with 3 or even 4 Allies having successive turns against Germany? Even if Germany ends a turn in a strong position on the front, it can expect France, Britain, America and perhaps even Italy attacking the position before Germany moves again. The CP could bring up Austrian reinforcements, but this is hardly ideal strategy. On a map with confined fronts, 5 turns vs 3 could make a huge difference.

    The obvious solution is to have the “all CP play, all Allies play” turn order; but this provides its own problems:
    If a mixed force of Allies attacks, who gets to take control of a conquered tt? My own fix for this is that there is only one Allied control marker, since Allies only liberate tt, they do not annex and exploit it. Liberated tt of neutrals, therefore, is  friendly to all Allies but controlled by none.
    Even occupied enemy starting tt is merely denied to the CPs, you cannot collect the income.

    However, the CPs can annex and exploit, so what happens if an Austro-German army captures a Russian tt? Do they have to agree on who gets control? One solution is to divide the map into spheres of influence, essentially lines on the map dividing Allied and neutral tt into areas automatically awarded to a set CP regardless of which forces actually occupy it.

    Interested to know how these problems have been dealt with in other versions.


  • Maybe Germany’s only hope will be to kill off France before that happens (hey, it would be realistic). First turn Germany should start out slightly outnumbered on the fronts, but have a huge amount of men she can get to battle zones by turn 2, while having a navy strong enough (and which we can use unlike the Kaiser decided to do) to go keep the British occupied long enough to stop troops from being landed in any meaningful quantities for a few turns.

    Would be interesting if there was just one big turn for each but I’m not sure it’s gonna end up that way, not to mention the allies should be able to annex and exploit territory just as much as the Centrals, so in the end I would imagine someone has to claim the territory.

    Personally I want to wait and hear more about how battles are going to work, as the battle board looks interesting but I can’t make out much.

  • Customizer

    Another possibility is stacking limits, which could apply to attacking armies as well as defenders.

    Say, 15 units per side?

    Remember Churchill - “in the West there were too many men for the front, in the east there was too much front for the men”.

    The challenge then would be to build stacks of the most effective unit mix, rather than just the biggest stack.

    But it still leaves the problem of the Allies having potentially 4 turns to wear down a German stack, even if only one combat round per turn is allowed - or can players reinforce stacks between turns?

    I’m more inclined towards one turn per side, but Larry doesn’t change things easily, and I expect it’ll be 7 turns of downtime for some players.

    I do hope it doesn’t become too scripted, with Germany having to hammer on the gates of Paris before Blighty shows up in strength, while Russia makes an all-out push on Berlin before it’s armies are beamed up by the martians, while the dreaded TURKISH TANK TREK TO TSARITSYN wends its inevitable course over the high peaks of the Caucasus mountains, just as Austria tries to clean up the Balkans before Italy’s scripted entrance in April 1915 forces her to guard the Alpine passes, just before the Central Powers march their armies from the Eastern Front one territory at a time (because it never dawns on them to jump on the nearest west-bound train) to hammer at Paris again before Uncle Sam gets his underpants organized.

    This could be the best Axis and Allies game ever, but it could get bogged down by the same flaws as its predecessors.


  • @Flashman:

    Another possibility is stacking limits, which could apply to attacking armies as well as defenders.

    Say, 15 units per side?

    Remember Churchill - “in the West there were too many men for the front, in the east there was too much front for the men”.

    That’s actually rather brilliant, though from what Larry said in his little intro letter he might get carried away with the massive slogging matches. But yeah that could work well, especially since it looks like the Western front is made up of what looks to be 3 territories, and cap the max units that can be in that territory. So the British could have 15 in Belgium, the French could have 15 each in the next two, and they would face roughly equal Germans.

    Maybe some rules for bringing up reserves for counter attacks and reinforcing (the attacker should be able to attack with more men, so a special attack move that lets you get more men in?).

    One thing is for sure, the western front should be a meat grinder.

    EDIT: Or just cap the number of men who can take part in a battle?

    I just hope Larry gives the Germans a beefy navy, just because they never really used it in real life doesn’t mean that it wasn’t potent and could lead to some interesting scenarios in a game.

  • Customizer

    The closest the CPs got to winning the war was the U-Boat’s attempt to starve Britain into surrender.

    It looks like there are no convoy zones, so how could they achieve this in the game?

    With American entry delayed at least for a few turns, and presumably effective American forces delayed further, what incentive is there for Germany to bother with a surface fleet?

    This is especially so if (as seems certain) ships spend all their time at sea and are unlikely to last long if they’re seen as any particular threat.

    My thinking for solving these issues (not going to happen I know):

    Ships in port - allows ships to remain in dock and be safe from attack by sea. Really, without this how long is the Austrian Navy going to last?

    Convoys: I was never entirely convinced by the A&A convoy system, and am thinking of ways of reworking it.

    In particular - combine convoying with armaments/supply rules.

    Before declaring war, America traded with all major powers, including war materials. This was most important in supplying shells and ammunition.  I’ve suggested elsewhere that all units (or perhaps just artillery) expend shells when they fire, and that these items must be supplied to the armies in the field, being transported from factories. Armies on the western front regularly ran out of shells, and importing from America was one solution to this.

    So make shells the commodity imported via convoy zones (by both sides), with it being most unlikely that either side can produce enough to keep artillery continually supplied (shells should be cheap enough, but still count against factory capacities) without imports. This might also give Germany enough incentive to declare unrestricted sinking on the basis that depriving the Western Allies of ammunition is worth the risk of bringing America in earlier.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_FAOk4uMp8

    PS probably 3 types of shell: HE/Shrapnel, Gas, and Smoke


  • Larry said there will be an unrestricted sub warfare phase even if there would not be convoys, Britain’s total blockade was arguably the biggest contribution to Germany’s fall so stuff like that has to be represented somehow. And I was talking more of the starting German navy rather than one to build, if for no other reason than to keep BEF troops from reaching France for a turn or two, the British should probably be the only ones who end up actively building a navy (other than America’s horde of transports) because their going to have such a broad theater range.


  • I remember in Revised there was an NA that subtracted 1 IPC from US and UK’s income for each German sub on the board; made for some interesting games.


  • I’m sure it will involve some sort of dice rolling, this is A&A of course.


  • Germany
    Russia
    America
    Ottoman
    UK
    Austria
    Italy
    France

    That’s my best guess


  • Germany
    Russia
    France
    Ottoman
    UK
    Italy
    AH
    America

    Or whateve’s


  • Austria
    Russia
    Germany
    France
    Britian
    Ottomans
    Italy
    US


  • @Flashman:

    In particular - combine convoying with armaments/supply rules.

    Another way of representing convoys would be if there was an Industrial Resource unit/token that spawned in territories in the collection phase according to the tt IPC value. And so to use the Industrial Resource unit in the production face it actually had to be transported to the Industrial Complex where it was to be spent. They could be transported by transports, rail, or could move one space by land on there own. Players would have to build transports to collect income from there far reaching empires, these convoys would be vulnerable to attack so escorts would have to be built as well. Also players could transport Industrial Resources to there allies Industrial Complexes for use there. I think this idea is better than ammo supply chains since the supply chain from the factories to the front is already well represent by the combat unit production and movement, what isnt well represented is how the resources are moved from there place of origin to Industrial Complexes

    While this rule is pretty simple it would make each players turn a little longer(particularly Britain) as they would have to manage their resource movement. Of course it could also create new strategic possibilities.


  • @DarthShizNit:

    I’m sure it will involve some sort of dice rolling, this is A&A of course.

    So was A&A Revised lol. 😄

  • Customizer

    Doesn’t matter what the turn order is, you still get 4 western allies playing between every German turn.

    Stacking limits are most unlikely, otherwise why does the game come with 36 identical d6?


  • @Flashman:

    Doesn’t matter what the turn order is, you still get 4 western allies playing between every German turn.

    Stacking limits are most unlikely, otherwise why does the game come with 36 identical d6?

    so you’re telling me the stack limit is 36?

  • Customizer

    I’m telling you the game comes with 36 d6 - therefore no stacking limit.


  • I know I was being a smart ass

  • Customizer

    I’m coming down in favour of a 4 player game. Since the four principal nations: were

    Germany

    Russia

    Austria

    France

    They would be the starting element for each player, in turn order.

    With other nations joining in, we should end up with:

    Germany, [Bolsheviks]

    Russia, (Serbia)

    Austria, Turkey, (Bulgaria)

    France, UK, Italy, USA, (Belgium), (Portugal), (Greece), (Romania), (Arabia)

    All nations within each group moving and fighting together.

    One possibility is that, at a certain stage, Allies can be placed under an overall command and after that they all play together.

    Ref: Supreme War Council and Unified Command

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/68445/general-von-kuhl/unity-of-command-among-the-central-powers

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_War_Council

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vWLoU9HVBeEC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=central+powers+unified+command&source=bl&ots=6BEE-CvHEp&sig=1ARJ-Cd3I-IAtUc93BZrS7XZO8g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9hX7UPqjE8eZ0QWd7YGADQ&sqi=2&ved=0CF0Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=central powers unified command&f=false

Suggested Topics

  • 4
  • 16
  • 22
  • 2
  • 4
  • 6
  • 19
  • 17
I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys

24
Online

15.7k
Users

37.2k
Topics

1.6m
Posts